Jim Bowden of ESPN put together his list of the seven most underrated moves of the winter. The list included two moves made by the San Francisco Giants organization. The article itself is an ESPN Insider article, so you’ll have to have a subscription to read the full list, but here’s what he had to say about Tim Hudson and Mike Morse.
2. San Francisco Giants sign RHP Tim Hudson
Hudson, 38, is no longer an ace, but GM Brian Sabean isn’t expecting that after inking him to the two-year pact worth $23 million. Hudson’s season was cut short in July when he broke his ankle, but he had a 3.91 ERA in 21 starts and was generally reliable.
The Giants finished 13th in the NL in ERA in 2013, and Hudson will provide some much-needed stability in the middle of the rotation. Because it was a non-arm injury, Hudson should be 100 percent on Opening Day, and teams such as the A’s and Royals were also vying for his services.
Morse is just three years removed from hitting .303/.360/.550 with 31 homers for the Nationals, and he was off to a red-hot start in 2013 before a wrist injury crushed his power numbers for the second half of the year.
The Giants were in desperate need of power for left field and although Morse is a below-average defender, he should bring 25-30 bombs, and that’s a lot of pop for a one-year, $6 million deal. He’s also a great clubhouse presence and fan favorite and has that quiet swag the Giants like. Gregor Blanco can pick him up late in games for defense and give him rest against certain starters whom he struggles against, and Morse can also fill in for Brandon Belt at first base against tough lefties.
I’m a bit more convinced on Hudson than Morse given his defense and 2013 season. However, if Morse can add at least 20 home runs to our offense during the season, I’d say that it was worth the small gamble of a one-year contract. We know he can be an impact, as can Hudson, but like any deal in baseball, much will depend on the health of both players.